A double killer from Northumberland has been named on a list of wanted fugitives believed to be hiding out in Spain.
The newly formed National Crime Agency (NCA) has issued a list of 13 most-wanted suspects who are the subject of arrest warrants for crimes including fraud, robbery and drug trafficking.
Among those believed to be hiding on the continent is Keith Turner, 60, who launched a “frenzied attack” during which he bludgeoned to death two of his family members.
In 1973, aged 21, he brutally murdered his mother Georgina and sister Karen at their home in Cramlington, Northumberland, following a “trivial quarrel”. After serving a 19-year prison sentence he relocated to Slough then Wales and staged a cheque book fraud worth more than £10,000.
He is named alongside Durham-based Brian Thexton, 37, who is wanted for a string of night-time robberies at isolated properties. During terrifying raids homeowners were cable tied and forced to part with alarm codes and safe combinations.
Crimestoppers’ regional manager, Gary Murray, said: “Both Keith Turner and Brian Thexton are accused of some terrible crimes which is why it is imperative that they are located quickly.”
Turner was jailed for life at Newcastle Crown Court in 1975 and served 19 years before he was released on licence. He settled in the Bristol area following his release in March 1993, and in 1998 moved to Wales. But in February 2000 he was accused of carrying out a series of cheque frauds worth almost £12,000.
At the time he was working for a charitable trust in an “administrative capacity”.He failed to appear at Reading Crown Court in September 2000 to answer the charges and has been a fugitive ever since.
His disappearance sparked the revocation of his licence in October 2000 and he remains at large. Turner - along with Thexton - make up 13 new wanted individuals on the Operation Captura campaign list. Crimestoppers and the newly formed NCA are liaising with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Madrid and with British and Spanish law enforcement agencies in a bid to hunt them down.
Lord Ashcroft, founder and chairman of Crimestoppers, said: “The fact we are able to once again launch Operation Captura is an indication of how successful the last seven years have been since its inception.
“However, despite our success so far, there are still a number of dangerous criminals who see Spain as a safe haven to hide from their past, but with the support of the Spanish and UK public, we can hunt them out and bring them to justice.” During one of Thexton’s robberies, gang members posed as police in order to convince the homeowner to open the door. Once inside they used a pick-axe handle and a baseball bat during a terrifying raid.
Thexton is also awaiting trial accused of conspiracy to supply drugs. He was the alleged middleman in a transaction to purchase half a kilo of high purity cocaine. Thexton has pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal motor vehicles, plant and machinery on three occasions in 2010.
Crimestoppers operates a 24/7 telephone number 0800 555111 and the website www.crimestoppers-uk.org